Monday, August 17, 2009

glassy bliss

el triangulo, a quirky spot in lima that only breaks when the waves are super big, was so glassy this morning that the sea looked like a reflection pond with a wave machine underneath it. i went there last week when we had 9 foot swell, but it was high tide so it wasn't working. this morning i went out, was one of just two people in the water, and the swell said 10 feet, somewhere in between high and low tide. wow. just absolutely amazing. i've never had such a nice surf in lima. so empty, so much space, every takeoff just so relaxed. the wave has a nice speed, plenty of walls that you can carve on and just the tiny little beginnings of a barrel as you move close in to the shore. curiously nobody was in the water this morning at any of the other breaks, mainly because most of them were closing out and terribly sloppy. but el triangulo is hidden away, and you need a big swell to wrap around a piece of peninsula and then refract into a little bay. when that happens it's just about as perfect as surfing can be...

Friday, August 14, 2009

andy kessler

there is a great video up on a blog at the nytimes of andy kessler, a skateboard pioneer in new york who died of an insect bite while surfing yesterday. the article in the blog is clearly written by somebody who never skated, and has several basic mistakes in it, but the video the guy produced and edited is superb. being a west coast kid, i never knew who andy kessler was, but i realized when reading the article that i rode a skatepark he designed in riverside park when i was 27 and getting back into skating after a 10 year hiatus. and, strangely enough, a friend i grew up with was staying with me in new york at the time and he rode the skate park with me. it was like we were 13 all over again. skating brings people together. you can see the video
here if you scroll down below the article. i still skateboard nearly every day and what kessler says about those few minutes each day when you are in the flow and cruising and playing off the environment around you jives with the ineffable feeling you get on a wave. i'd say waveriding is more intense, but the two are clearly linked on multiple levels.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

5.5 feet and glassy

This morning, after suffering through two weeks of heavy winds that turned otherwise perfect 9 foot waves into choppy schwag, the air was still, the ocean was perfectly glassy and the 5.5 feet waves were peeling just right. It was bliss. That zen-like surfing feeling returned after two straight weeks of despair induced by blown out waves, frigid winds and 'desordenado' mush. The break I was at, Punta Roquitas, often closes out too quickly and its allure diminishes quickly if waves are higher than 6'. But in the range that is considered small for Peru, say from 4' to 6', it works beautifully, especially if you have a fish that allows you to get up on the wave a wee bit faster and earlier. Today the conditions were perfect. All you had to do was paddle a bit, make a quick turn to after dropping in, pump your legs a couple times, put a rail halfway up the wave and then just boogie on down the line all the way to the jetty as the wave walled up ... In between waves, we watched big, lazy pelicans scoop fish out of the water right next to us...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

who let the dog out?

there are dogs that surf and dogs that like to watch the surf. there are dogs that only bark when their best friends go surfing. there are dogs that swim out to sea, only to turn back when the waves come crashing in. there are dogs with surfing vests but poor balance. and there are dogs so obsessed with seeing and hearing water flow that they only drink from faucets. my dog is one of these...